Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment

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Island Press, May 9, 2013 - Science - 528 pages
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Prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, this report blends the contributions of 120 experts in climate science, economics, ecology, engineering, geography, hydrology, planning, resources management, and other disciplines to provide the most comprehensive, and understandable, analysis to date about climate and its effects on the people and landscapes of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—including the U.S.-Mexico border region and the lands of Native Nations.What is the climate of the Southwest like today? What has it been like in the past, and how is it projected to change over the 21st century? How will that affect water resources, ecosystems, agricultural production, energy supply and delivery, transportation, human health, and a host of other areas? How vulnerable is the region to climate change? What else do we need to know about it, and how can we limit its adverse effects?In addressing these and other questions, the book offers decision makers and stakeholders a substantial basis from which to make informed choices that will affect the well-being of the region’s inhabitants in the decades to come.
 

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Contents

Summary for Decision Makers
1
Overview
21
The Changing Southwest
37
Present Weather and Climate Average Conditions
56
Present Weather and Climate Evolving Conditions
74
Future Climate Projected Average
101
Future Climate Projected Extremes
126
Natural Ecosystems
148
Urban Areas
267
Transportation
297
Human Health
312
Climate Change and USMexico Border Communities
340
Unique Challenges Facing Southwestern Tribes
385
Climate Choices for a Sustainable Southwest
405
Moving Forward with Imperfect Information
436
Research Strategies for Addressing Uncertainties
462

Coastal Issues
168
Water Impacts Risks and Adaptation
197
Agriculture and Ranching
218
Energy Supply Demand and Impacts
240
Glossary
483
Authors and Review Editors
501
Reviewers
506
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About the author (2013)

Gregg Garfin is Deputy Director for Science Translation & Outreach, Institute of the Environment, and Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. Angela Jardine has been an environmental scientist for over ten years. She is currently at the Amazon rainforest at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amaz˘nia in Manaus, Brazil. Robert Merideth is editor in chief and a senior researcher at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Mary Black has worked as an editor, writer, anthropological linguist, and librarian for the University of Arizona. She currently serves as a liaison with federal agencies, tribes, and scientists. Sarah LeRoy is a Research and Outreach Scientist for the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona where she is the editor for the Southwest Climate Change Network.

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